Young Artists, Filmmakers and Authors Awarded Prizes in Youth Festival Competitions

This weekend the winners of the Henley Youth Festival competitions were awarded prizes in the art, film and writing competitions.  The River & Rowing Museum was transformed into a stunning gallery of Henley Youth Festival (HYF) artwork, for the art and film prize-giving and the Bell Bookshop for the writing competition awards ceremony.

Local author, Amanda Jennings was the judge again for the HYF writing competition.  The competition saw over 100 junior entries (Years 4-6) and just over 30 in the infants category. The Bell Bookshop sponsored the prizes for the competition. Amanda said, “This is always a highlight of my year.  Again there’s been some amazing entries.  I absolutely love reading all the stories and I feel very privileged to be able to come and present the awards to the authors.”  Before presenting the Junior award to Kirsten Botha who wrote Bitter Sweet Celebration, Amanda said, “It was a beautifully crafted story with a start, middle and end which was very emotional but with a good use of humour.”  Describing Bridget Ashby’s winner of the Infant prize, Best Birthday Ever, Amanda said, “The content had excellent grammar, punctuation, varied vocabulary for such a young writer.  Bridget really brought the story to life.  I was super impressed and it would be a birthday that I would enjoy.”  Stanley Torreiro, aged just 6 from Valley Road was awarded a Highly Commended prize for his Peter & Sam’s Adventures. He told us, “The story is about my imaginary friends and it took me about half an hour to write all on my own.”  Stanley’s Mum said, “We didn’t know he had such a hidden talent for writing and he’s gone on to write a book about Peter and Sam with 26 chapters!”

On Sunday, competition judge Josie Stewart presented the awards for the 2D and 3D art categories. Reflecting on the impressive standard of the 2018 competition, Josie commented, “Every year there’s more and more, and higher quality entries. Looking at this year, there’s been more experimentation with different medias.” The theme of ‘celebration’ was clear in all the brilliant creations, with paintings of fireworks, sculptures of cupcakes, photographs of champagne, and a fantastic 3D ‘party house’!

The film competition boasted similar creativity. At the award ceremony, local film-maker and competition judge Jo Southwell revealed that there were “loads of different ideas, so it was really difficult to choose.” She explained that the winners were chosen by their ability to tell a story, and encouraged the young filmmakers to work on this next year.”

All the wonderful winners were awarded with a certificate, an Amazon voucher, and a chocolate Easter egg. Charlene Brown, who organises the Art, Photography and Film Competition, closed the ceremony by saying, “I do hope to see all your faces next year.”

The full list of competition winners are listed below.

2D Art


1st           Joshua Drummond, Valley Road
2nd          Benjamin Rilett, Valley Road
Joint 3rd  Trinity Primary School (Ava Partridge, Emily Jogn, Zac Carson, Libby Clark, Emilia Nicholls, Rupert Hepburn, Isabella Stobie)

Age 7
1st           Rory Stewart, Valley Road
2nd          Jessie Duncan, Trinity
3rd           Bruno Stola, Trinity
HC           Kitty Potter, Trinity

Age 8
1st           Alysia Cowling-Rees, Sacred Heart
2nd          Molly Walker, Rupert House
3rd           Rebecca Malone, Valley Road
HC           Evie Carle, Trinity and Suriya Knight, Trinity

Age 9 – 11
1st           Rowena Hems, Rupert House
Joint 2nd  Ellie Dent, Rupert House and Sophie Nicholson, River & Rowing Museum Art Club
3rd           Jessica Brindle & Hope Hawkins, Rupert House
HC           Dominic Pusey Arsyad, Trinity, Sophie Chapman, Trinity and Emily Southgate, St Mary’s

Senior 12+
1st           Eleanor Whittle, Gillotts
2nd         Amelia Priestley, Gillotts

3D Art

1st           Billie Gadson, Shiplake Primary

Age 7-11
1st           Millie & Charlie Scott, St Mary’s
2nd          Sophia Hughes, Rupert House
3rd           Zoe Brindle & Lilian Graham, Rupert House
HC           Clara Coetsee, Rupert House

Age 11+
1st           Dylan Gadson, Gillotts

Collaborative Art

1st           Sonning Common Primary School Art Club
2nd          Nettlebed Community School Art Club
HC           Sacred Heart

Young Film Maker

Special Mention
Star Wars Lego Celebration – Rowan Richens, Joshua Bentley, William Tavinor, Alexandre Khoury, Henry Allingham

Runner Up
Family – Toby & Lauren (Animation Club at Sacred Heart)

Best Young Animation
Christmas Celebration – Jasper & Wilfred  (Animation Club at Sacred Heart)

Junior Film Maker

Special Mention
A Celebration Animation – Luke Bates

Best Short
Mission Barcelona – Connor Botha

Best Animation
Cheerleader – Lottie & Sophie Sarson

Senior Film Awards

Special Mention
What it means to be a Scout – the 1st Henley on Thames Scouts

Best Editor
Celebrating Something Beautiful – Sidni Brener


Years 1-3
Winner – Bridget Ashby, Nettlebed School
Highly Commended – Stanley Torreiro, Valley Road School

Years 4-6
Winner – Kirsten Botha, Cranfield House
Highly Commended – Jemima Brewer